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Obama’s Big Green Stimulus Boondoggles

Written on Monday, September 19, 2011 by

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weatherization assistance program

With the scandalous bankruptcy of Solyndra (a shady California solar power company that received $535 million in stimulus funds and is now under investigation by the FBI) hanging overhead, President Obama wisely whitewashed any mention of “green jobs” out of his latest address to Congress.

But buried in the details of his latest government jobs bill released last week — Spawn of the Spendulus, Porky’s II, Night of the Keynesian Dead — are yet more big green boondoggles that will reward cronies, waste taxpayer dollars and make no dent in the jobless rate.

After pouring half a billion bucks into Solyndra, the company filed for Chapter 11 last month and laid off 1,110 employees. Obama administration officials met with Solyndra execs at least 20 times; the green cheerleader-in-chief personally visited and promoted the company in 2009 before his administration fast-tracked approval for the loans.

Solyndra is now the third solar company to go belly-up this year. Yet the Energy Department is doubling down on failure. As the FBI and House GOP investigators launch a probe into Enron-style accounting problems with Solyndra’s books, DOE is doling out more than $850 million in new loan guarantees for another California solar firm sponsored by NextEra Energy, along with nearly $200 million more for separate solar manufacturing facilities on the West Coast.

Obama claims new “investments” in environmentally friendly school construction projects will put thousands of Americans back to work immediately. (Never mind that Big Labor-backed rules and executive orders will raise the cost of the projects, slow their implementation and freeze out the vast majority of non-union contractors.) Among the new green pork initiatives: $25 billion for green roofs, green cleaning, installation of renewable energy generation and heating systems, and “modernization, renovation, or repair activities related to energy efficiency and renewable energy.”

But how are existing green construction spending programs working in practice?

A brand-new report from Texas Watchdog, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative group, sheds inconvenient light on Obama’s $5 billion stimulus-funded Weatherization Assistance Program. In Texas alone, the $327 million program has spent more than $226,000 on each of the 1,041 jobs the program is claimed to have created or saved.

Intended to “green” low-income homes, at least three of the original participating organizations have been shut down due to chronic mismanagement, fraud allegations and shoddy workmanship. Baylor University economist Earl Grinols summed up: “First, it is not an appropriate government function to provide weatherization of private homes. Second, even viewed as a stimulus measure, it is not very effective as a stimulus based on cost-per-job, and third, it appears not to be well-managed.”

Nearly 31 months after Porkulus One was signed, the Texas housing agency still hasn’t spent $91.6 million in allocated weatherization/green construction funds. Millions cannot be accounted for by auditors and inspectors.

Now, multiply that by 49 other states. A review of the weatherization boondoggle last year revealed state-trained workers were flubbing insulation jobs in Indiana, according to the Associated Press. In “Alaska, Wyoming and the District of Columbia, the program (had) yet to produce a single job or retrofit one home. And in California, a state with nearly 37 million residents, the program at last count had created 84 jobs.”

The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney, a vigilant chronicler of green subsidies, notes that time and again, it’s Obama insiders and Democratic operatives pocketing all the green while the unemployment hovers at double-digits. To wit: “Al Gore acolyte Cathy Zoi was Obama’s assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy while her husband was an executive at a company that received direct subsidies from the Obama administration and profited from the Cash-for-Caulkers bill Zoi’s division implemented.” Treasury Department Chief of Staff Mark Patterson lobbied for Goldman Sachs on ethanol subsidies while holding down his job in the administration. And last year, another Obama pet project — Illinois-based FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant — received a $1 billion stimulus earmark despite having been previously defunded over doubts about the feasibility and efficiency of the project.

An Obama green job trainee with seven certificates, Carlos Arandia, spoke for all non-crony Americans when he asked last fall: “What is the point of giving somebody the tools to do something but to have nowhere to use them?” Perhaps the White House can find a way to weatherize all the Grand Canyon-sized taxpayer sinkholes that “green job” spending has created.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.

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  • http://patriotupdate.com Raymond

    Working people frequently ask retired people what they do to make their days interesting. Well, for example, the other day I went downtown and into a shop. I was only there for about 5 minutes, and when I came out, there was a cop writing out a parking ticket. I said to him, ‘Come on, man, how about giving a retired person a break’? He ignored me and continued writing the ticket. I called him a ‘Nazi.’ He glared at me and wrote another ticket for having worn tires. So I called him a ‘doughnut eating Gestapo.’ He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he wrote a third ticket. This went on for about 20 minutes. The more I abused him the more tickets he wrote. Personally, I didn’t care. I came downtown on the bus, and the car that he was putting the tickets on had a bumper sticker that said, ‘I ♥ Obama.’ I try to have a little fun each day now that I’m retired. It’s important to my health.

    • dora rivas

      Raymond: This was hysterical….keep them coming to keep you busy in retirements. Thank you. On another note? We have to stop Obama from making from blunderous investments in green jobs? Spending Billions to create a few thousand jobs is not my idea of smart spending. This must end in November of 2012!!!

    • nvrpc

      Sorry but if he would have invested the money in building solar tracking solar arrays across every square foot of desert land we have across this nation it would have not only made lots of power to be used but it would have created jobs for the installers and the maintenance these facilities would have needed for the next 25 years and then as new cells come available we could have made upgrade for another 25 years. This JA SOB doesn’t know how to make jobs and he can’t see beyond the tip of his nose. Oh and I forgot, employ US citizens ONLY that can speak English, no illegal aliens and no foreign nations. They should however take all those on welfare and give them a choice. Come to work doing what we need to get done or NEVER see another welfare check for the rest of your life.

    • slapjack

      Semper Fi.

    • DEW

      As Kermit the frog said, “It’s not easy being green”

      But at least I believe Kermit is an honest frog.
      Given the Obama Solyndra scandal, we might adjust that to say that it is not quite honest nor sensible promoting the so called “green” energy. Could it be corrupt politics as opposed to unsound energy policy?

      But Solyndra is just the tip of the iceburg . Evergreen Solar and Spectrowatt have also filed bankruptcy and others will follow.

      Obama has provided $19 Billion dollars to clean energy as part of his stimulus packages. This amounts to $5,4 Million dollars per claimed added job. That is ridiculous!

      Neither Solar nor Wind technologies now (and I suggest ever) represent a permanent solution to our energy requirements.

      A permanent solution is one that provides power when the sun does not shine or the wind does not blow and is economically and technically sound.

      But Solar by far is the most pitiful of the suggested “Green”solutions.

      The most efficient solar panel technology provides 11.4 watts per square foot. To provide the equivalent energy of an average size natural gas (clean energy) plant would take 3 square miles of solar panels (not counting service access lanes and ancillary battery, conversion, and distribution. (go ahead and do the math yourselves)

      Plus the natural gas plant produces power when the sun does not shine and the panels are covered by snow or ice. (And we have the largest reserves of natural gas if only the Obama administration will let us recover it)

      I could go on, but what is the point. Obama and his like will continue their wrong political policies.

      I could continue with wind power but will spare you the obvious (serious and currently unsolvable problems).

      You can not politically legislate the success of currently inadequate or failing technology. Only the free market place and private venture capital diligence can determine what currently holds real, logical, cost effective solutions.

    • daves

      How many times have you posted that one Raymond?

      It’s Bastille Day, which is the day that Paul Revere rode through Paris warning the French.

    • J Davis

      Deja Vu…..funny, but not too original…

  • Byron

    AMEN

  • FlaJim

    There are many more examples of the waste in creating these ‘green’ jobs and providing huge subsidies to ‘green’ enterprises. It all comes down to the simple fact that there is obviously no market demand for any of it. If demand existed, private enterprise would fully fund it.

    Government subsidies were not needed for development of the telephone, light bulb, personal computer, practical passenger vehicle, commercial radio and TV stations, and a host of other innovations over the past 140 years that we now take for granted.

    • patriot2

      also more of those green projects that obama is pushing is nothing more than a huge money pit,if they ever pay for themselves we’ll never see it.

    • R. Cook

      So how do we identify just what is a “renewable” source of energy? I have come up with a common sense set of criteria.
      First the source has to produce more energy than it takes to operate and maintain whatever system is being evaluated. Secondly it must produce enough energy to completely replicate itself entirely when it wears out and have energy left over to use. Take for example a wind generator. If it was truly renewable it would produce enough energy to cover every step from mining of the raw materials to construct its components, site acquisition, site preparation, the manufacture of every one of its components, on site construction of the tower and generator, maintenance, the distribution infrastructure, eventual replacement of itself and still have energy left over to use for other purposes. The same would apply for “renewable” solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass.
      The energy return on energy invested (EROEI) should be the deciding factor when choosing energy sources. If the EROEI is 1:1 it means that equal amounts of energy were used to produce the commodity as were realized when it was used. In this case the commodity would be worthless as a viable energy source. An argument occurs when trying to determine what should be included in the energy invested portion of the ratio. Some the investments are included in the previous paragraph. Proponents of so called “renewable” energy sources purposely exclude much of the energy invested side of the equation to make their renewable sources seem economically viable.
      If in the long run the energy return is not significantly larger than the energy invested; artificially driving up the cost of traditional energy sources will result in economic suicide.

    • http://verizon.net Bud G.

      Exactly. The green projects such as wind power, electric cars and solar power could have been accomplished through private enterprise and some are but the truth is they are not practical cost wise. I personally do not want to buy something that would take many years to recuperate the cost of it or limited in scope. An electric car can only be used locally and recharge is time consuming. What happened to the fuel cell for homes and vehicles? It seems this was a much better idea than solar power or electric vehicles. Turbines and water would also produce a more powerful grid than solar or wind power on a national scale.

      The big lie put out by this administration on natural resources is to keep this country dependent on foreign sources. The fact is we have more oil, natural gas and coal than other countries and this administration is denying accessing it. Montana alone has more recoverable oil than most countries in the middle east. This country could almost immediately recover jobs and revenue to the government if this were allowed to happen. There are proven methods to recover these resources which are environmentally safe and we have clean burning coal.
      This administration is the problem, not the solution with their green jobs mania.

  • Gary

    How money has to be stolen from taxpayers in order to fund these phoney companies. No doubt, the other ones will go belly up as well. And why doesn’t congress investigate. We have more than enough evidence to prove that “green energy” is nothing but a falsehood and Solyndra is just one example.

  • http://robertjavorka@gmail.com RJJ

    It’s time for the Republican Presidential Candidates to take info like this and campaign on not just how much Obama is spending but where the hell all those $Billions are going. For example How much Green Money is finding its way into ACORN funding? Educating illegal aliens, hiring more and more drones for Obama’s new phony government agencies.
    Where are the big bucks going?

    • http://verizon.net Bud G.

      RJJ: The newly activated ACORN under another name was awarded $329 million through the Department of Housing and Urban Development just a few days ago. Florida, where I live, paid out 5.6 billion in 2010 in support of the illegal immigrants and received only one fifth of this back in taxes. Multiply this figure across the country and it is a huge burden.
      Obama has more advisers than any previous administration and the reason they are failing the public is because they are for the most part academics who have had no actual experience in economics or running a government. A lot of people think it is incompetence on his part but I think it is intentional. Anybody with an ounce of knowledge in economics knows spending trillions and keeping interest rates so low is a fast track to bankrupting this country. The entire bunch in the white house, treasury and Federal Reserve should tender their resignations. Expect a crash very soon in the stock market due this incompetent behavior because it is coming unless drastic measures are taken now. People like Buffett and Rogers think spending is the right thing to do to but think about what their bottom line is and that is; to make money off yours and when you lose, they gain.

  • ARMYOF69

    SOLYNDRA is just one business that should not have been able to get one red cent from anyone. The Chinese have been building [albeit lower quality ] solar cells for years , CHEAP. What made these morons really believe they were going to outprice them?
    THEY KNEW THIS, and were after the taxpayer’s half a billion dollars, that’s all. And with Hussein as their mentor , they got to steal OUR money.

  • ONTIME

    I don’t know how many of you listened to the Mysery Man speak today but he does sound like a retard on taxes and is trying to BS his way out of another box he built. He fails miserably at directing our tax money into Solyndra a very bad specialinterest investrment and then allows the burden to fall on the backs of the tax payers…here’s a clue, his whole “administration is built on special interest” and he is going to use your tax money to pay all of them off. He is smearing BS on your face with every scam he plans to put forth. Term limits and a new tax system will go a long ways to curing this problem.

    Deemers are the reason we need to increase the size of our incarcarceration facilities, we need a place to keep them, especially their politicians.

  • PatriotBob

    How long are Americans going to put up with this Man who wants to destroy our country???

    • J Davis

      This will continue until he is removed from office. His goal is to remove as much wealth from the economy (you and me), and place it in the government coffers where he can use it to buy votes to keep him and his mafia in power.

  • steve

    Obama’s Preamble to the United States Constitution
    We the People of the Obama Administration, in Order to form a more dysfunctional Union, establish Justice for our donors, insure opposition silence, provide for the common decline, promote the redistribution of wealth, and secure the Blessings of unbridle power to ourselves and burden our Posterity, do ignore this Constitution for the United States of America.

  • Carolyn Mortensen

    I am with you, PatriotBob, Why do we continue to let this man destroy our country. Is there no one in Congress that will step up to the plate. UGH! I can hardly stand to watch him lie to us again and again.

  • am2sweet

    Just one more example of how well Obama’s stimulus works. When is he going to figure it out?

  • hotnike

    Obama can’t be a christian because we christians would not be able to sleep at night or even look in the mirror after doing all things to OUR country that he has done and with telling all the lies. I hope Allah is happy with him. He will have a big surprise someday when he finds out Allah is as dead as he is.

  • Buck

    The ethanol scam and the electric car scams are every bit as bad at throwing green stuff ( money ) away as the solyndra deal . they are just not as fast a dump .

  • dodi

    We haven’t had any success in accomplishing a damn thing with money given to business to keep them from going bankrupt and then they go bankrupt anyway. What does obummer think he is going do accomplish this time except finally getting his way and raising taxes on the wealthy. Why in the H don’t the wealthy just send him some money, just donate it? We tried, before he was elected, to point out that he didn’t have any experience and was hand in hand with the wrong people but, people just wouldn’t listen!! Now that America is going down the crapper, maybe, just maybe they will wake up. I HOPE so he doesn’t get in for anoth 4 years and then there will be no hope. This arrogant ass couldn’t run a hen house!

  • dodi

    Here we go again, awaiting moderation! Good thing I didn’t say what I was really thinking. Or, maybe I should have as long as they aren’t going to post my comment right away or maybe not at all. It seems like I am in good company though as I see comments from others.

    • dodi

      Now both of them are awaiting moderation. Maybe this one too. Let’s see.

    • Dodi

      It took 4-6 hours for them to moderate 2 comments which were not nasty in anyway. I thought this was a place where we could call a spade a spade and express ourselves. Guess not!

    • Bob

      Mine is still waiting… 15 hours now… seems like they’re not as honest as they pretend to be.

  • yard-dog

    Wal-Mart Strikes Pay Deal With Chinese Union

    Wal-Mart’s latest agreement with the Chinese government is proof that if you’re going to do business in China, you’ve got to play by the rules.

    Odd Wal-Mart has no problem with the Communist Unions in China.

    But keep out Americans wanting a decent wage

    • Johnnygard

      The unemployment, welfare, and food stamp president has made it so those millions of people can only afford to shop at Walmart. If they had jobs, they could shop elsewhere. If Walmart went union in this country, do you think those people could afford to pay the higher prices, or do you live in the dream world of libs that think Walmart could take the extra costs out of their profits?

  • Eddie G.

    You hear all the ballyhoo from auto companies about their new “green” machines. I sallied on down to my local dealer and not one car had they with windmill power,solar power,or bunnies running in cages to turn the wheels. They had a Chevy Volt that runs on batteries fer a short hop then ya gotta recharge it. If ya don’t have a looonnnggg extension cord,you’re in a heap. If ya lives here in Nevada like I do and on a trip your batteries take a dump on ya,ye are true blue screwed. Go anywhere in this state and you’re hundreds of miles from nowhere and two feet from hell. Small wonder Government Motors is takin’ a money beatin’ on Oboy’s dreamobile. All this “green” looks like sh*t brown to me!

  • Idylewylde

    For Green House technologies to work, the Green House problem actually has to be real.

    The Green House scam is not real. The technological remedies are imaginary. Thus, the reults produce nothing tangible. But the resulting waste of federal tax dollars is very real.

    IQ TEST:

    The last Ice Age ended 10,000 years ago.
    Just 5-6000 years ago, Earth’s climate was much hotter than it is today. Palm trees could grow in the Orkney Isles because northern Scotland had a Mediterranean climate back then. We know this from soil analysis from the archaeological digs.
    Then, suddenly, it got cooler.
    However, sooner or later, we are going to get hotter again. We always do between Ice Ages. The Orkney Isles will, once again, have a Mediterranean climate .. and it will happen quite naturally.

    So .. what caused the Earth to warm up like that 6000 years ago? Was it man-made?
    Not bloody likely.

    ALGORE and his buddies are pulling the worst pseudo-science scam in history.
    The real force driving the Global Warming scam is the United Nations plan known as ‘Agenda 21′.

    This is New World Order BS .. the mantra of the Libs and RINOs.

    • daves

      “We are able, for the first time, to accurately reproduce the ice-core record for the last 800,000 years — the record of atmospheric C02 based on measurements of carbon dioxide in gas bubbles in ice,” Tripati said. “This suggests that the technique we are using is valid.

      “We then applied this technique to study the history of carbon dioxide from 800,000 years ago to 20 million years ago,” she said. “We report evidence for a very close coupling between carbon dioxide levels and climate. When there is evidence for the growth of a large ice sheet on Antarctica or on Greenland or the growth of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, we see evidence for a dramatic change in carbon dioxide levels over the last 20 million years.

      “A slightly shocking finding,” Tripati said, “is that the only time in the last 20 million years that we find evidence for carbon dioxide levels similar to the modern level of 387 parts per million was 15 to 20 million years ago, when the planet was dramatically different.”

      Levels of carbon dioxide have varied only between 180 and 300 parts per million over the last 800,000 years — until recent decades, said Tripati, who is also a member of UCLA’s Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. It has been known that modern-day levels of carbon dioxide are unprecedented over the last 800,000 years, but the finding that modern levels have not been reached in the last 15 million years is new.

      Prior to the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the carbon dioxide level was about 280 parts per million, Tripati said. That figure had changed very little over the previous 1,000 years. But since the Industrial Revolution, the carbon dioxide level has been rising and is likely to soar unless action is taken to reverse the trend, Tripati said.

      “During the Middle Miocene (the time period approximately 14 to 20 million years ago), carbon dioxide levels were sustained at about 400 parts per million, which is about where we are today,” Tripati said. “Globally, temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer, a huge amount.”

    • Marc Jeric

      The levels of CO2 in the atmosphere depend entirely on the sun activity. When the sun is peaceful the oceans cool and absorb trillions of tons of CO2; when it heats up, the oceans do as well while releasing huge quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere. Human activities are like that ant who thinks it deviated the path of an elephant – or rather a huge colony of them.

    • Idylewylde

      Daves … thanks for falsifying the data.

      You failed to mention the aerosol levels in those core samples. Different aerosols form at different temps at high altitude, then wash out with rainfall. The Aerosol counts prove that there is a direct correlation between solar output and mean average temps, especially during the ice ages.
      Also, the same core samples tell us that Carbon content was high during the ice ages .. so, if Carbon is a hot house gas, why didn’t the ice ages come to an end at those levels?
      Carbon counts in conjunction with aerosol counts create a model that needs a trigger. The only correlation is solar activity.

      By the way, the South Polar cap grew 17% in the same time the North Polar cap shrank … Curiously, the same thing happened on Mars.
      And you don’t have an explanation, do you? At least not a scientific one.
      AGW is pure pseudo-science driven by Agenda 21.

    • Idylewylde

      PS Daves .. The higher Carbon rates you quoted fail to mention the volcanic eruptions over the last 150 years, starting with Krakatoa, including Mount St. Helens, and now the recent Icelandic eruptions .. to name a few.

      You people proffer ‘science’ that cherry picks the facts and deletes the cause and effect.

      Nice try, though .. probably works well over at Daily KOS where science is what Soros and ALGORE say it is, and IQ levels there are too feeble to know the difference.

  • chuck

    IMPEACH IMPEACH IMPEACH!!! USE THE WORD AND SPREAD IT AROUND !!!!! THIS CIRCUS CLOWN ELEPHANT EARED EVIL IDIOT IS DISTROYING OUR COUNTRY !!!

  • chuck

    DUMP OBLUNDER !!!! NOW!!!!!

  • Marc Jeric

    ThiS retired engineer with the MS and PhD degrees in Engineering from UCLA tells you that there is NO GREEN ENERGY! THE ONLY GREEN ENRGY, if you can call it that, is the nuclear electricity; but that bloviating gasbag Carter and his eco-nazis killed that energy back in the 1970’s.

  • Bob
  • sanysue

    i guess obama didnt make his stimulas pkg before large enough and he didnt make big business, the union officials and all his other buddies in his admiistration rich enough the first time around.. congress should veto any bill that he wants that raises taxs.. the american people cant afford to give obama whos getting rich too, any more money..we have people living on the streets with their children, loosing their homes and jobs.. we cant pay any more taxes to make them richer, what about giving the people the stimulus money and all the other money obama is taking and giving to his friends.. im sure people on the street, unemployed and hungry would put that money to good use.. we all know now that obama is crooked, a muslum and guilty of so many crimes that he should be impeached and thrown out of the white house..

    • Furious in TX

      Sue I think you are correct about obamas lack of integrity.. But the real problem isn’t who’s getting our money. It is the fact that it was ever stolen from us in the first place. Taxation without representation doesn’t work in America. If this madness continues, unfortunately revolution will be our only way out.

  • W Smith

    Lately I’ve been having this recurring nightmare. I’m being chased by this big GREEN BLOB that sucks up every last bit of Hope and all my Change. Anyone else having that one?

  • Jeremy

    This article is full of innacurate statements, hyperbole, and is evident that Malkin does not understand how the weatherization program works. For example, “more than $226,000 on each of the 1,041 jobs the program is claimed to have created or saved.” To weatherize a house, much of the cost is in the materials, not just the labor to employ people. Sure if you just paid people’s salaries it would be cheap but weatherizing house includes installing high efficiency furnaces, insulation and high R-value windows. So it has many secondary benefits, especially since the Recovery Act required materials be sourced from North America.

    Another statement, that Millions are missing from the Texas program. I looked this clam up and a conservative watchdog group said there was millions in questionable spending, whatever that means, but it’s not “missing.”

    The weatherization program is audited very heavily. The Inspector General did an audit of the Illinois program and found that they were paying an extra $1.50 for high efficiency light bulbs. Sure, there may be a couple of dollars here and there “wasted.” People need to earn an honest living. (Is this still the United States or India?) But you could find waste in any organization if you audited it heavily enough. Conservatives are just picking on a program that helps low-income households, saving energy, and because they hate Obama.

    What about the billion dollars that went missing in Iraq? The no-bid contracts for Halliburton and other boondoggle military projects?

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